Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus advisor, said the United States is experiencing a spike in new Covid-19 infections because the country never closed entirely.
At the beginning of the outbreak, US coronavirus cases peaked at around 30,000 new cases a day before falling and hitting approximately 20,000 new cases per day, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. As some states began reopening in late April through June, new cases began to emerge, Fauci told Stanford Medicine Dean Dean Lloyd Minor during an interview.
“We are not closing completely,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We need to go back a few meters and say, ‘OK, we can’t stay closed forever.'” … You should close, but then you should gradually open. “
The United States has reported more than 3.3 million Covid-19 cases and at least 135,205 deaths as of Monday, Hopkins data shows. As of Sunday, cases are growing 5% or more in 37 states and also in Washington, DC, according to CNBC data analysis. The seven-day average of cases in the United States is more than 59,100.
In recent weeks, President Donald Trump and some state leaders have downplayed the threat from the virus, linking the increase in new cases to an increase in evidence. However, public health officials and infectious disease experts refute those claims, saying that the rate of positive cases in the US, Hospitalizations and deaths remain high in some states.
Fauci said Monday that the outbreak in the US has “not yet begun to see the end” of the coronavirus pandemic as scientists continue to work on possible drugs and vaccines for the virus. He said he is “cautiously optimistic” that scientists will be able to create at least one safe and effective vaccine by the end of the year or early 2021.
The biotech firm Moderna, which is working with the National Institutes of Health, and Johnson & Johnson are expected to begin late-stage human trials for possible vaccines later this month. It’s a record time frame produce a vaccine, even when scientists say there is no guarantee that vaccines will be effective.
Fauci also said he expects the public to compare the Covid-19 pandemic to the 1918 pandemic flu, which killed about 50 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He mentioned the “extreme” range of symptoms that people can experience after contracting the virus, including pediatric multisystemic inflammatory syndrome. PMIS is a rare inflammatory condition found in children with Covid-19 that is similar to Kawasaki syndrome and has caused neurological damage in some children.
“We learn things every week,” he said.
Fauci’s comments come as the gap between Trump and the country’s leading infectious disease expert grows. Last week, Trump, who previously said the pandemic was coming to an end, criticized Fauci’s response to the pandemic.
During an interview Thursday with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Trump said: “Dr. Fauci is a good man, but he has made many mistakes.”
“They have been wrong about many things, including facial masks,” he said. “Maybe they are wrong, maybe not. Many of them said not to wear a mask, not to wear a mask. Now they are saying to wear a mask. Many mistakes were made, many mistakes were made.” “
However, Trump has often been seen unmasked despite recommendations from the CDC and the World Health Organization that people use them as a way to slow the spread of the virus. Scientists say the virus can be spread through respiratory drops that pass when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Studies suggest that masks can help limit transmission.
On Saturday, Trump wore a mask in public for the first time while visiting the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.